After weeks of controversy, a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, and an F.B.I. investigation, Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed on October 6th. The vote was 50-48 and mostly on party lines, according to CBS News. The confirmation vote came after Senator Susan Collins, of Maine, declared on the Senate floor that she would vote in favor of Kavanaugh. This is the second appointment the Trump administration can boast, the first being Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. This appointment has been followed by protests all over the country, and concentrated in Washington D.C. itself, expressing their indignation.
The deciding votes in Kavanaugh’s confirmation were Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona and our own Senator, Susan Collins. According to CNN, Senator Flake decided on October 5th that he would be voting in favor of Kavanaugh’s confirmation, “Unless something big changed”. As for Senator Collins, who often waits until just before a vote to give her opinion, many have been waiting to hear which way she would vote. Senator Collins came forward with her intention to vote in favor of Kavanaugh, in an impassioned speech on the Senate floor saturday. The transcript for her speech can be found here. This has sparked outrage in many women across the country. CNN reports that many progressive organizations, Maine Democrats, and people from around the country have begun raising money to unseat her in 2020.
Protesters before, during, and after Kavanaugh’s confirmation were gathered in the Senate gallery and on the steps outside, as described by NBC News. These men and women held signs, shouted chants, and sang songs in order to convey to Congress and the nation their discontent with the decision to allow Kavanaugh to become a Supreme Court Justice. According to The Hill, Planned Parenthood is at the forefront of the attempt to raise money in order to push Senator Susan Collins out of office in 2020, using ads and appealing to Maine voters to do their best to show that they will not stand for the injustice this win means for women. Protesters against Kavanaugh were not the only people to show up in Washington D.C. or other cities. Organizations, such as Women for Kavanaugh, also arrived in order to show their solidarity with Congress in their decision, reported by NBC News.
The repercussions of Kavanaugh’s confirmation are not yet known and likely will not be for some time yet. There is no telling the effect this will have on the women’s’ movement, future Supreme Court cases, or the nature of the position of Supreme Court Justice. Even the security of Senator Susan Collins’ seat in the Senate has been called into question at the close of this confirmation, a Senator who is generally revered as a champion of women’s’ rights and issues by Planned Parenthood, who has now condemned her due to her vote. Only time will tell whether or not our system of government can aptly withstand the pressure being thrust upon it by the partisan views of the public.